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Laurel Podulke-Smith plans to seek second term

By Randy Petersen, Post Bulletin

April 30, 2024, at 5:44 PM

ROCHESTER — Olmsted County Commissioner Laurel Podulke-Smith officially announced plans to seek re-election. “It is an honor to represent Olmsted County residents on the Board of Commissioners, and I am eager to continue our work to make Olmsted County a safe, healthy, and welcoming place where everyone can thrive.” District 1 commissioner said in a statement released Tuesday.


Podulke-Smith was elected to a two-year term created by redistricting in 2022. The Nov. 5 election will fill the seat for four years.


A Rochester native, Podulke-Smith said she chose to seek the county office to help improve the everyday lives of people, and she draws from a background in education, healthcare and organizational leadership to provide public service.


Since joining the board, Podulke-Smith has highlighted work related to groundwater protection and soil health initiatives, nitrate remediation, homelessness and housing affordability, opioid abatement, innovative solid waste and recycling practices, and making a clean energy transition She was also appointed to the governor’s Cannabis Advisory Council, to represent county perspective and community voice in cannabis legislation.


She said she looks forward to advancing county work while also being an avid community volunteer and participant on several nonprofit boards. “Voters can count on me to lead with total commitment in a true spirit of collaboration,” she said.


Podulke-Smith plans to launch her re-election campaign with a kick-off event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Cascade Lake Park Picnic Shelter.


The filing period for county commissioner seats is May 21 through June 3.

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